At the eMove360 electric vehicle charging and energy conference to commence this week in München, Germany, a small startup from Israel will introduce its new take on EV charging.
Chakratec’s answer to the issues of EV charging speed (and the ability to recharge in times similar to refuelling an ICE car) are inspired by an old trick—or should we say, tech—the flywheel.
Its Chak Charge (C2) stores kinetic energy using a system that almost seems like magic: floating in mid-air using magnetic levitation, the flywheels spin in a vacuum chamber, doing away with friction and loss of momentum.
When an EV is plugged into the system, the kinetic energy is converted back to electricity and charges the car in just minutes.
Instead of buffering a medium-voltage network like a conventional fast charger in order to protect a sudden drain on the local grid, it simply discharges its energy into the EV battery then refills, much like a toilet cistern.
One installation can service many cars at once, containing multiple flywheels and charging plugs.
Chakratec says its energy storage technology has an operational lifetime of 20 years, far longer than li-ion batteries in conventional fast chargers.
“In addition to providing incredibly fast charging for drivers of electric cars, Chakratec’s technology can be applied (as with any other energy storage technology) to smoothing peak loads and grid stabilization, and can be scaled up simply by adding extra flywheel modules.
Chakratec has already begun deployment of several modules in Europe, including at an EV rental facility at an airport and through French EV charging provider DBT-CEV, and says it will have 5 installations rolled out by the end of the year.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.